This listening exercise is about a fashion designer talking about his career. This a multiple-choice listening exercise for Part 4 of the B1 Preliminary Listening Test. This gives you practice before you take the Cambridge English B1 Preliminary exam.
B1 Preliminary Listening Test Part 4 – Fashion Designer
You will hear a successful fashion designer talking about his career.
Fashion designer: I’m quite often asked how I got into fashion. For me, it was something I always wanted to do. However, because my mother was a university teacher and my father a headmaster, they found it hard to accept that fashion could be a serious career. I wasn’t bad at school, I mean I was a typical student, passed enough exams and so on, and they could understand I might want to go to art college, but fashion just wasn’t a serious subject for them.
Anyway, they said I had to do a year’s business course first. I didn’t like it at the time, but later, it made a big difference to me. For example, when I started my art college course, I could use a word processor, I knew about managing money, I had an idea of how to talk about business. None of the other students had that. And the other thing I did during that year was to get a part-time job in the office of a small factory making good-quality clothes. The pay was awful, but I learnt a lot there about that end of the industry, so I began to understand what’s possible and what isn’t. I mean, by watching people, I realised what you can and can’t do with different types of cloth, what takes a long time to make on a sewing machine, you know.
Then I did two years at the local art college. I wanted to go to London straight away, but my parents insisted. I think they thought I was too young, I was still only seventeen by then, but in the end, it was cost. London is a very expensive place for a student. So I stayed at home until I won a prize for a design which actually gave me a place at a London college for nine months. There, I was able to make a lot of useful contacts – I was already working for an Italian fashion house three months before I left. I went on to spend three wonderful years in Milan, then I got the job in New York for a year, which was really exciting, but unbelievably stressful. I think probably because I was too far away from my family, more than any actual problems with the work itself. So, I ended up in London, starting my own company, which is stressful in a different way, but really I enjoy it very much.